Page 485 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 18                       467


                Dear John Embry,

                Congratulations on the 25  anniversary of Drummer. You created
                                       th
                a legend with that magazine, and I am proud I was part of your
                dream. Thanks for making me your first and only San Francisco
                editor-in-chief. In many minds, we are inextricably bound together.
                Wunderbar!

                Yours as always,
                Jack Fritscher


                Finally, on the subject of the Blacklist that traveled poisonously cross-
             country with Embry’s apparatchik John Preston, I must add the “fair play”
             which historical novelist, Steven Saylor as Aaron Travis on Embry’s payroll,
             gave me in his Drummer reviews of my books, such as Corporal in Charge of
             Taking Care of Captain O’Malley and Leather Blues in Drummer 81 (February
             1985). Travis was also the creative “associate editor” of fiction to “editor”
             Rowberry; so he stood in proximity to my work published at the same time
             by Rowberry in East Coast magazines published by George Mavety, such
             as Inches and Studflix: The Gay Video Magazine. Saylor/Travis, while he
             adroitly pioneered the first partial Drummer “Fiction/Fetish Index,” even
             with its alleged Blacklist “omissions,” seemed to have escaped the Embry
             experience at Drummer with his spirit in tact, although he wrote in former
             Drummer model Scott O’Hara’s Steam magazine (Volume 2, Number 1,
             1994), that working at Embry’s 1980s Drummer “was mind-boggling and
             mind-numbing—we were underpaid, disrespected and over-stimulated on
             a daily basis....”
                However, in Saylor’s obituary for Rowberry in Steam (Spring 1994), he
             miss-spoke when he wrote that Rowberry “created all the MMG [Mavety
             Media Group] magazines virtually by himself.” Saylor ducked and covered
             with the word virtually. His adverb and verb choices should be carefully
             examined, because history is in this way revised. Saylor meant that as a
             packager for Mavety Media Group, Rowberry filled the existing magazines
             as a solo editor by collecting the talent together between the covers. In my
             meetings with Rowberry in his MMG office South of Market, he was alone,
             but he had plenty of technical, financial, and corporate backup from the
             “Italians” in New Jersey. Rowberry did not start up, nor did he invent, the
             magazines, Just Men, Inches, Skin, Skinflicks, and Studflix which, my stream
             of archived letters prove, I had helped Bob Johnson create and start during
             1979-1981, years before Rowberry came on board.


               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-14-2017
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